Found a single on the shelf and decided to give this one a try. Widmer’s, known more for their Hefe, has every right to brew a Black IPA as they are located in the Cascadian range of North America. While I’m not particularly found of this style, you could say I’ve been on a bit of a kick. Maybe it is to help you, the reader, find the right dark IPA.
This rendition fills the glass with a porter-like brew in color, yet when beneath the fluffy beige head it looked opaque. The Cascade hops are very noticeable as the offer up hints of citrus fruits and floral honeyed notes similar to Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale. I have never had a beer with the hop variety Alchemy before, but suspected they added that spicy dimension to the aroma I found. Vanilla, coffee, and molasses were the prominent malt aromas that I could pick out. Not as astringent in the grain department as other beers of it’s kind.
Shockingly, I was 3/4 of the glass was gone before I realized this beer is very drinkable considering its style. The abv was unassuming, while the bold malts had a smooth porter texture and flavor. Widmer extended to me the pleasure of sampling a well balanced beer. Hops and malt worked together here and did so in a complex way. Sure, I could taste each sides contribution. The hops were bitter and spicy up front then faded into a floral quality which blended with the malts to create an almost dry British brown ale character that was most preferable. With regards to the mouthfeel, there was a slight stickiness to the brew, but for the most part it was moderately smooth. The finish is coffee-like with a hint of pine.
I would highly recommend adding this to you list of Black IPAs to try. Brewed well with a lot of flavor and the right amount of hops and malt to be sessionalbe for fans of the style.